Sunday, July 24, 2022

The History of EC Comics

The History of EC ComicsThe History of EC Comics by Grant Geissman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the title indicates, this weighty tome tells the story of EC Comics. It's ordinarily expensive as fuck but Taschen had a sale, bringing the price down to expensive as shit so I was able to justify my purchase.

I already have Grant Geissman's Foul Play: The Story of EC Comics so I wasn't sure how much to expect in the way of overlap. Turns out, very little, surprisingly.

The History of EC Comics is a treasure trove of EC lore and artifacts, starting from MC Gaines at All-American Comics, and flowing through EC's humble beginnings, heyday, and dying years after the hysteria of the 1950s. Clearly a labor of love, the highs and lows of EC are explored in great detail.

Since this is a coffee table book, the visual presentation is a big part of the package and The History of EC Comics does not disappoint in that aspect. There is a cover gallery of every EC cover ever, a few stories are reproduced in their entirety, and there is original art galore.

I have to wonder about how American comics history would have went if EC hadn't given up on the New Trend books after Seduction of the Innocent had everyone clutching his or her collective pearls. Have comics ever really recovered from being spayed and/or neutered?

The History of EC Comics is a stunning look at one of the early high points of American comics. Five out of five stars.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Wrestling at the Chase

Wrestling at the ChaseWrestling at the Chase by Ed Wheatley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wrestling at the Chase by Ed Wheatley is a coffee table book about Wrestling at the Chase, the legendary wrestling program that aired in St. Louis from 1959 to 1985.

I'm a wrestling fan from way back and have hazy memories of watching Wrestling at the Chase during its dying days. My in-laws gave me this for my birthday, unlike other relatives who don't like to buy me books for some reason.

Anyway, this book chronicles Wrestling at the Chase and the St. Louis Wrestling Club. Obviously, it covers much of the same ground as Larry Matysik's Wrestling at the Chase book. Since this is a coffee table book, the history of Wrestling at the Chase is explored at a much higher level.

In addition to a broad overview of the history of the St. Louis Wrestling club, Wheatley presents profiles of wrestlers important to the St. Louis wrestling scene during its heyday, like Dick the Bruiser, King Kong Brody, Lou Thesz, Harley Race, and Ric Flair.

What the book lacks in depth it makes up for in photographs. The book is jammed with photos of wrestlers, buildings, merchandise, vintage ads, flyers, and everything else connected with the wrestling business, even some of Sam Muchnick's notes.

Sadly, Wrestling at the Chase ended the same way here as it did in Larry Matysik's book, eventually run out of business by Vince McMahon's expansion in the early to mid 1980s.

I prefer Larry Matsik's book but this coffee table presentation is a good addition to any wrestling fan's collection. 3.5 out of 5 piledrivers.

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